How Do I Keep Cold Air from Coming Down My Chimney?
It’s hard to believe that you can still feel a draft in your home with a blazing fire going in the fireplace. When the chimney is performing efficiently, it will draw into the fireplace the same amount of air that it expels. But when there is an imbalance, a draft will occur. There are a variety of issues that could cause a drafty fireplace or chimney. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing a missing chimney cap or faulty damper. In other cases, your chimney may need masonry repairs. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to stop cold air coming from the chimney or fireplace.
If you feel drafty when using your wood-burning or gas fireplace, scheduling a chimney inspection is an excellent first step. There could be several issues such as spalling bricks, damaged flue liner, cracks in the chimney crown, warped damper, or other problems that could be causing the problem. A level 1 visual inspection will determine the condition of your chimney and if there are any masonry or component damage that is causing a drafty fireplace. The chimney professional will recommend solutions that will reduce or eliminate draft issues.
Top Sealing Damper
The throat damper is a standard fixture in most chimneys. But its location just above the fireplace allows cold air to flow down much of the chimney even when shut. And although the damper is closed, warping or rusting can break its airtight seal enabling cold air to enter the fireplace.
Replacing the standard throat damper with a new top-sealing damper keeps the cold air out of the chimney entirely. The rubber gaskets surrounding the damper forms an airtight seal when shut. It also does a better job of keeping moisture, pests, and debris out of the flue too. And with its location on top of the chimney, partially closing the damper when operating the fireplace will also help minimize downdrafts.
A chimney balloon is a temporary inflatable device that prevents drafts when you’re not using the fireplace. The balloon plug is inserted in the chimney and inflated to fit snugly inside. When you’re ready to use the fireplace, the balloon can be deflated, removed, and reused.
A flue liner insulates the chimney and protects the masonry from the intensive heat in a fireplace. However, many older homes were built before building codes required flue liners. And an unlined flue with an exterior facing chimney compounds the draft issue. You can’t relocate the stack, but you can install a flue liner. Also, your flue liner should be checked annually. Cracks or damages in the flue liner can cause draft problems and increase the risk of fire, so they should be repaired or replaced when damaged. You can also consider installing a UL-listed stainless-steel flue liner. They require very little maintenance, are very durable, and will help prevent cold drafts even when there isn’t a burning a fire in the fireplace.
Another way to eliminate chimney draft issues is with a fireplace insert. They install directly inside your existing masonry fireplace and are a simple way to improve its efficiency significantly. Instead of most of the heat disappearing through the chimney, it is retained inside an insulated firebox. Not only does it radiate more heat throughout your living space, but it resolves most chimney performance issues. It also burns cleaner and is less costly to maintain. Fireplace inserts are available in a variety of styles and fuel options for an authentic fire burning experience.
Contact The Chimney Professionals
At Mercer County Chimney Services we provide services such as Annual Chimney Inspection and Cleaning, Chimney Repair, and installation of new fireplaces, stoves and inserts. We are the experts when it comes to chimney repairs, chimney liners, chimney cleaning, chimney caps, chimney crowns and more.
Call the licensed and insured technicians at Mercer County Chimney Services today, 609-802-5288
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Located in Hamilton, NJ 08610
We Serve All of Mercer County, NJ